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Going on a Camping Trip

Although some might find this past weekend’s camping trip not resembling camping all too much, that’s still what we are going to call it. We spent two, successful, nights in a tent with the girls, didn’t shower, and had a fire and laid in a hammock. We did not cook any of our own food however, haha, but why would you when there is such good food to be had on Orcas Island!

Bryan and I packed, rather quickly, Friday morning to set out on this weekend’s adventure, and by noon we were ready to buckle in Brooke and pickup Reese early from school. Reese had the morning at school featuring a visit from a magician, which sounds super fun, but she was ready and eager to get to the ferry for our trip. We had about 90 minutes to drive up to the Anacortes Ferry Terminal, Reese watched a movie and Brooke took too short of a nap. We got to the ferry extra early so we explored the terminal and the nearby beach before the ferry was ready for us (it was also late to arrive). Our scheduled 3:45 PM ferry set off and we walked around the boat taking in the views.

Our 50 minute ferry arrived on Orcas and we drove the 15 minutes to Eastsound to have dinner at Mijitas, a Mexican restaurant that is very popular and features a huge serene outdoor space. We placed our order pretty quickly, the fresh chips and salsa arrived, the margarita, and not too much longer our food. And it was delicious. Both Bryan and I got the dungeness crab enchiladas that were super meaty, buttery and had just the right kick of spice to them. Reese got a quesadilla that also concluded with ice cream and she was happy as well.

After dinner, we drove the short drive to West Beach Resort to set up camp for the weekend. We were site 49A and it was a quiet shaded spot at the back of the camping sites. I had received a free 6-person tent recently off of Buy Nothing which was a great item to have on this trip. We had tons of space and being able to stand up in the tent to change was super nice. We got everything all set up and then walked to check out the amenities. Reese found several kids already playing on the small but cute playground. She spent some time there while Bryan got a drink at the little shop. We were approaching sunset so the entire campground seemed to migrate to the shore to catch it. The resort has a big bonfire each night at sunset and puts out free popcorn, which the kids all loved. We got another bowl of ice cream since they carry the really great Lopez Island Ice Cream at the store. We spent some time down by the water before it was getting to be too late for the girls. We headed back to our site and Reese met the four-year-old girl who was camping next to us. They played for a bit while I put Brooke down and then not too much later the rest of us retreated to our tent for the night since it was well past dark.

We woke Saturday morning after a pretty good night of sleep. I had picked up some pastries before leaving Seattle and we had those plus a latte from the camp store and some fruit for breakfast. Reese played a bit more with our neighbor but she was getting ready to head back to her home so we had to quickly say our goodbyes too. We packed up the car and headed to Moran State Park with the intention to hike Mt. Constitution with the girls. We made pb&js in the parking lot and filled up our water bottles.

Bryan carried Reese the whole way and I had Brooke. We made it the full 7+ miles and 1,200 feet of gain up to the top, despite Reese’s protest as she was not enthused with this day’s event. Once to the top though, Reese enjoyed the views and walking up to the top of the stone tower a few times. Once we had a snack and some water we headed back down and truly made great time.

Back to the car we first stopped at the main camp at Moran to play at their little playground. We then drove to the tiny town of Olga to get lunch/dinner at Buck Bay Shellfish Farm. It was busy but we ordered our food and received after not too long, and Brooke was able to get a nap in during this wait and the majority of the meal. We had a truly fantastic seafood meal under a giant wheeping willow tree with several other tables and it was just perfection. We got the halibut fish and chips and the taco trio, featuring cajun salmon, grilled halibut, and grilled shrimp tacos, a large house salad with all of the greens grown in their own garden, a local huckleberry soda, and an Island Hoppin’ kolsch from the on-island brewery. Again, perfection. You could also view Buck Bay from the tables.

We drove back to our campsite, with a stop at the store to get Reese candy as we had promised her on the hike, and once back all rested in the hammock or the tent for some time. We then decided to make use of the resort’s hot tub to soak our muscles and all changed into our suits to do so. This was fantastic as we had the hot tub to ourselves and it felt so good on our backs, was slightly cool this day anyways, plus we had views of the beach and the setting sun. We changed and then picked up a pizza from the shop as well as a brownie fudge sundae that we ate back at our campsite as Brooke was already sound asleep. We made a fire at our campsite with the wood found around us and then Reese soon after was tired and quickly fell asleep. Bryan and I got to enjoy the fire for another hour or two, along with a drink in hand, before Brooke woke up and we all made our way into the tent.

On Sunday morning, Brooke woke me up before 7 am so I put her in the Ergo to go for a walk not to wake anyone else up. We walked down the lengthy dock over some beautiful still water, along the beach, and back to the campsite where the other two were now awake. We started to put away our camp to go ahead and check out and explore the town of Eastsound a bit. I had wanted to get brunch at New Leaf Cafe and we sat on their covered porch overlooking the water and it was pure bliss, at least once I got my coffee and Brooke got a banana. I got the crab cake benedict, Bryan the pork with mole and fried eggs which was like a build your own breakfast taco plate, and Reese the kids waffle which was excellent. After breakfast, we strolled through town and stopped in the main park area to check out their play structure but to our delighted surprise there was a big band concert setting up in the pavillion. Reese made a new friend from Georgia and we watched her play, Brooke napped in the stroller, and we sat listening to the music sipping our coffee.

After quite some time there we decided to start our voyage back home. We tried to get on the 12:20 PM ferry but that was full so we settled on the 2:20 PM ferry like we had booked. We took a quick drive around Westsound and Deer Harbor and then drove back to the ferry terminal to check in and park, got out, shopped in the gift shop and bought a chocolate chip cookie and then chips and water from the grocery store before sitting by the terminal for awhile. When the ferry arrived, Bryan drove the car on and I walked on with the girls. We had another beautifully scenic ferry ride, but one that slowed due to whale sightings, so we arrived back to Anacortes a bit late. We got in the car and Brooke immediately fell asleep for the whole duration home and Reese watched one movie and then was D.O.N.E. with the car. She then took a quick nap and both girls woke up about five minutes from home in not great moods. It took about an hour to get both girls better adjusted and fed and took Bryan equally long unpacking the car. Brooke got her first bath from the weekend and then took forever to go down. Reese was bone tired but also took forever to go down. Sometime after 10 pm I was done putting both girls to bed, showered, and done picking up stuff.

It was a wonderful weekend with some great memories. It was a good first weekend camping with both girls and now we know we can do it. We still love Orcas Island very, very much. Not looking forward to a week of work and these next two weeks are still fairly busy but the weeks themselves not so much so that is good.

Chelsea

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